Wi-Fi issues with Dell notebook

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  1. #1

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    Wi-Fi issues with Dell notebook

    Hi all,

    I have a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop that I have been using trouble free for almost two years. I dont take it around much and have been using it around my apartment where I have a wi-fi setup (typical Netvigator installation; 8Mbps ADSL broadband connection, with a Buffalo Wireless router that I have setup and have been using for 3+ years). Regularly I have been getting the the listed speeds on my laptop as is listed possible with the built-in wifi (802.11b/g supported) with 54Mbps.

    Lately though, my connection seems to have slowed to a crawl. I check the wifi connections and I only seem to receive 1Mbps or 5Mbps at the best. I have tried to re-adjust wifi settings on my laptop and also resetting my router (cant do much with the modem as it is PCCW provided), but the problem keeps re-appearing. Inputting the settings and changing WEP passwords I've also tried, but to no avail. Even used another router I had borrowed, still the same. Router gives a strong, full signal, but somehow the speeds I'm getting are only a fraction.

    Any ideas on what the problem could be? with my notebook or the connection? Much appreciated!


  2. #2

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    Possibly the notebook, Have you checked to see if theres any driver updates etc?

    Are you able to borrow another laptop and see what speeds they're getting?


  3. #3

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    The WiFi signal as opposed to transfer rate you are seeing?

    Lower WiFi rates means other networks or wireless phones nearby, it is designed to reduce it's data rate under interference.

    Last edited by MrMoo; 10-03-2009 at 01:21 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo:
    Possibly the notebook, Have you checked to see if theres any driver updates etc?

    Are you able to borrow another laptop and see what speeds they're getting?
    Hi Jimbo,

    I have checked for driver updates, but there aren't any for the wifi module specifically.

    well...can't really borrow another laptop, but I have a smartphone that also receives a strong signal without a problem.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMoo:
    The WiFi signal as opposed to transfer rate you are seeing?

    Lower WiFi rates means other networks or wireless phones nearby, it is designed to reduce it's data rate under interference.
    Well, I never had the problem for the past 3 years I was using it and my cellphones and wireless (cordless) phones are well away from the router...

    As for other networks., when I use my laptop to check other signals, none of them are as strong as mine, so I doubt there's any interference...

    This is really puzzling! I'm being handicapped by this problem at home as I do a lot of work online (work intranet, VoIP, email, etc.)

  6. #6

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    I could try taking my laptop out to a public wireless network and see if I experience any troubles there....

    But if I do come across a connection issue, what's the best way to resolve the problem? is it at PCCW's end? I've experienced their wired connections slow down sometime but that was years ago...


  7. #7

    SLow........

    Program DUMeter will show Up/Down Data speeds.

    Pingtester.com's Ping Tester will show good/bad connection.


  8. #8

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    any cordless phones or microwaves running? this also affects wifi. have you tried the drivers directly from the manufacturer of chipset of your wifi? there's lots of things that could cause slow transfer rate. i often experience this but not with the built in wifi of my notebook but with a wifi adapter..the cause was a faulty usb wire. if you have a wifi adapter you could try that too so you could isolate the problem.

    i usually get this problem when im on vista, here's what i did before:

    reinstall the driver
    disabled or removed ipv6 (if you dont use this)
    disabled teredo tunneling
    disable microsoft isatap
    reboot
    tried connecting again

    before my problem is that i had 2k+ of speed (via speedtest) now im just on 400+ something...still sometimes the problem comes back

    also some notebooks with this problem started when vista updates or with some antivirus that makes the transfer rate slow

    also there's some issue with regards to wpa/wep passwords with vista, have you tried leaving your router settings to open then try if theres any change in terms of speed?

    sometimes there are channels were there's not that much of traffic or interference, i think its channel 1, 6...forgot the other one

    oh btw are you using wep? wep passwords can be easily hacked and somebody could be using your connection causing slow speeds. I always recommend using wpa, its still hackable but the process usually frustrates hackers/script kiddies specially if you use passwords not on any english dictionary.


  9. #9

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    i don't have any problem w/ Dell laptop when it comes to wireless.. I can even get a highspeed connection from my neighbors unsecured connection... lols


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jim5130:
    i don't have any problem w/ Dell laptop when it comes to wireless.. I can even get a highspeed connection from my neighbors unsecured connection... lols
    Wow, you're considerate of others.

    Anyways, to help the OP - some of the other tips are good here, but worst to comes to worst, if you have Complete Care/Cover from Dell, go send them a technical support email and they will replace your wireless card free of charge. Worst comes to worst, find a place with a refund policy and pick-up another wireless card there. Unscrew a couple screws, insert, test.

    Hope all goes well.

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